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Chapter 2

The Causes of Foodborne Illness

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Foodborne Illness: Causes


Hazards: harmful substances that when
found in food can cause foodborne illness

Chemical

Physical

Biological

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Chemical Hazards
Detergents
Sanitizers
Chemical

Pesticides
Naturally occurring fish
or plants toxins
Medications
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Physical Hazards
Pests
Glass
Physical

Plastic
Toothpick
Metal
False fingernails
Jewelry
Hair
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Biological Hazards
Bacteria
Viruses
Biological
Parasites
Fungi

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Biological Hazards
Bacteria
Pathogens

Viruses
Parasites

Microorganisms
Spoilage
Organisms

Foodborne
Illness

Fungi

Unpleasant smell
and taste
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Foodborne Pathogens

See

Smell

Taste

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Foodborne Pathogens

Found
on
raw

and

Added
during
handling

foods

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Bacteria
Type of
Microorganism

Bacteria

Does It
Grow in
Food?

Yes

Destroyed
by Proper
Cooking?

Yes

Example

Salmonella

Examples of Food
Associations

Salmonella and
eggs

Preventative
Strategies
Cool foods properly
Cook foods to proper
temperatures
Clean and sanitize
equipment & utensils
Wash hands properly
Ensure proper storage
and holding temperatures
Separate raw and
cooked food

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Viruses
Type of
Microorganism

Viruses

Does It
Grow in
Food?

No

Destroyed
by Proper
Cooking?

Yes

Example

Hepatitis A

Examples of Food
Associations

Preventative Strategies

Hepatitis A in
shellfish

Cook foods to
proper temperatures
Clean and sanitize
equipment and utensils
Wash hands properly
Separate raw and
cooked foods
Wash fruits and
vegetables thoroughly
Purchase shellfish from
approved vendors

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Parasites
Type of
Microorganism

Parasite

Does It Destroyed
Grow in by Proper
Food?
Cooking?

No

Yes
(and proper
freezing)

Example

Trichinella
spiralis

Examples of
Food
Associations

Trichinella
in pork

Preventative
Strategies

Cook foods to
proper temperatures
Clean and sanitize
equipment & utensils
Wash hands properly
Separate raw and
cooked food
Wash fruits and
vegetables thoroughly
Purchase shellfish
from approved vendors

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Fungi
Type of
Microorganism

Fungi

Does It
Grow in
Food?

Yes

Destroyed
by Proper
Cooking?

Yes

Example

Rhizopus
stolonifer

Examples of Food
Associations

Bread spoilage

Preventative
Strategies

Cook foods to
proper temperatures
Clean and sanitize
equipment & utensils
Ensure proper storage
& holding temperatures
Prevent bruising of
fruits

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Microorganisms & Illness

No m/os

Thousands
of m/os

Millions
of m/os

Generally, as the number of microorganisms


increase, the likelihood of illness increases
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Microorganisms & Illness

1
bacterium

20
minutes
=
2 bacteria

40
minutes
=
4 bacteria

4
hours
=

8
hours
=

12
hours
=

4096
bacteria

17 million
bacteria

68 billion
bacteria

If the temperature is right, 1 bacteria may


become 68 billion bacteria within 12 hours
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Microorganisms & Illness


Depending on the type of foodborne
illness, symptoms may occur within
hour to 50 days after ingesting the food
Infection
Intoxication
Toxin-mediated infection
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How Do Microorganisms
Get Into Food?
Prior to Entering
the Kitchen
During slaughter

Inside the Kitchen

Cross-contamination:
in the field
during distribution
during processing

Cross-contamination:
from one food to
another
from dirty equipment
from dirty hands
from dirty clothes

Natural part of the


animal

Improper personal
hygiene

2006 Department of Food Science - College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State University
Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity, and the diversity of its workforce.
This publication is available in alternative media on request.

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